The New England Patriots clinched first place and the Kansas City Chiefs clinched second, giving them both byes for the Wild Card Round this past weekend. The Pittsburgh Steelers, seeded third, would go against the 6th-seeded Miami Dolphins. The Oakland Raiders were the 4th seed going against the 5th-seeded Houston Texans.
The question was whether the Oakland Raiders could stay dominant with the season-ending injury to their starting QB Derek Carr. The answer to that question was no. As the Raiders lost 27-14, backup QB Connor Cook threw for only 161 yards, one TD and three interceptions. Brock Osweiler, the Texans QB, threw for 168 yards and a TD with no interceptions and a rushing TD.
The dominance of the Pittsburgh Steelers offense showed as they defeated the Miami Dolphins 30-12. Pittsburgh lead this game from the very start. Antonio Brown, Steelers WR, received two 50+ yard TDs in the first eight minutes of the game. Steelers RB, Le’Veon Bell, rushed for 167 yards and two TDs. Although Dolphins backup QB Matt Moore took some hard hits, he played a good game, throwing for 289 yards and a TD.
The top-seeded Dallas Cowboys and second-seeded Atlanta Falcons both got bye weeks in the wild card round. The matchups we saw were the no. 3 seed Seattle Seahawks against no. 6 Detroit Lions. The fourth-seeded Green Bay Packers play the fifth-seeded New York Giants.
The Seahawks showed why they are known for their powerful defense as the beat the Lions 26-6. The Detroit offense could not get anything going against the Seattle defense, only having 231 total yards of offense. Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls played a great game, rushing for 161 yards and a TD. The Seahawks won this game in every way.
The Green Bay Packers dominated the New York Giants 38-13. Packers QB Aaron Rodgers carried them to victory while throwing for 362 yards, four TDs and no interceptions. The story of this game was the dropped passes from a usually very good Giants core of receivers, including four crucial drops in the first quarter alone.
Up next is the NFL Divisional round, where the New England Patriots will host the Houston Texans and the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Pittsburgh Steelers in the AFC. In the NFC, the Atlanta Falcons will host the Seattle Seahawks and the Dallas Cowboys will host the Green Bay Packers.